Philadelphia Eagles News

Is Asomugha Secret Weapon Vs. Davis?

When Victor Cruz scored a touchdown last week against the Eagles by leaping above Nnamdi Asomugha at the goal line, out-muscling the all-Pro cornerback for the ball before Asomugha turned his head around, a vocal minority emerged decrying the decision to put Asomugha in zone coverage. In Oakland, Asomugha played predominately press man-to-man coverage and established himself as perhaps the best cornerback in the league.

But when the Eagles' big-ticket free agent signing is asked about his ability to adjust to a new scheme that includes zone coverage, he laughs.

"My first interception this year was in a zone," said Asomugha Friday. "It's just funny, one catch - one - is given up in a zone and now all of a sudden you shouldn't be playing a zone, you should be playing man. So, you know, it's football and we'll continue to get better at it. I know what I can do."

Asomugha didn't shirk responsibility for that play though, as he acknowledged there is still a learning process going on for him and the defense.

"Everything gets better the more you do it," he said. "Obviously, you want it to be perfect the first time that you do it, but unfortunately, that's not how it goes. I think as we go along, things will get better for us individually and for us as a defense as a whole.

"Here, you're learning new things because they're putting you in different situations, different spots. I've played the slot this year, I've played on tight ends, I've played free safety, I've played corner. It's a lot more than just going out there and playing man."

This week, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound Asomugha could find himself playing one of those specialized roles again. The 49ers passing game relies almost exclusively on the play of Pro-Bowl tight end Vernon Davis.

Through three games, the top three 49ers receivers have combined for only 166 yards receiving - 13 fewer yards than Davis' 179. Asomugha, who was originally slated to cover Tony Gonzalez in Week 2 before injuries altered the game plan, was coy when asked if he'll be seeing a lot of Davis come Sunday. First, he said, the Eagles must stop the run.

"We'll try to give them as many different looks as we can with (Davis)," he said. "Until you can stop the run it's going to limit a lot of things that you can do, to be honest. Once they have to startpassing, then you can start mixing it up. Our number one focus right now is stop the run and see what we can do after that."

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